Tag Archives: Astral Plane Radio

Due to some scheduling peculiarities, we’re in a slight lull in the Astral Plane Recordings release schedule, which makes our monthly NTS show the best outlet to hear new music from the label and label-related artists. We hopped on NTS on Good Friday (April 13) with a collection of devotional music (Alkaline, v1984, Arca, MC Pikachu, etc.), as well as a wonky, pitch/reality bending guest mix from Los Angeles’ AMAZONDOTCOM and Mexicali’s Siete Catorce. Also look out for a new LOFT edit, a Chants x Ophex collaboration, some unreleased SHALT and the usual assortment of barely together edits, bootlegs and blends. We also played a favorite from Mika Vainio. I only delved into Vainio/Pan Sonic later in the Finnish artist’s career, but have come to appreciate his work as one of the fundamental building blocks of what we do as a label and how I’d live to envision experimental music as an individual. Paul Smith and Andrew Ryce both wrote wonderful pieces in the aftermath of his passing and I highly recommend newer listeners to stop what they’re doing and to spend the day with Vainio’s myriad projects. He will be missed.

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Due to some technological constraints, we spent our most recent slot in the KCHUNG studios playing individual tracks off of our laptop and while mixing is always preferred, the change of pace allowed us to play some of our favorite, less-dance-oriented tracks out to the very end. You’ll find a few tracks from our recent Don’t Watch That chart and For Club Use Only feature in FACT Mag as well as some stray Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf, Smurphy and Ana Caprix tracks. Tonight, we’re filling in for a friend and will be back on KCHUNG for a special, vinyl-only session from 9 to 10 PM Pacific Time. As always, tune into 1630 AM if you’re in Los Angeles (and near Chinatown as the reception is dodgy as hell) and stream here if you’re global.


A year after his passing, it’s still extremely difficult to grapple DJ Rashad’s sudden death, but it has become increasingly important to celebrate his life, legacy and importance to footwork and contemporary music at large. It’s neither our place or within our skill set to eulogize Rashad, but with anniversary of his passing taking place this past Sunday (April 26) and our monthly slot on KCHUNG going down the next day, there wasn’t a better time to lay down some of our favorite tracks from the legend. Double Cup features heavily of course, but so does Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome To The Chi, DJ Spinn’s Teklife Vol. 2: What You Need and the dozens of other collaborative projects he helped out with and/or co-produced. DJ Earl, DJ Manny, DJ Phil, Taso and more pop up here and there and Rashad’s influence, both in terms of the raw musical inspiration he imbued and his own oversized personality, is palpable among Teklife’s younger generation. Hyperdub’s Rashad-inspired Next Life compilation is still available here and there are still so many artists from Chicago putting on for footwork and furthering the legend of Rashad Harden.

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Yesterday afternoon, the Astral Plane DJ Team headed to KCHUNG’s Chinatown studio to record the first of a now monthly show. After a few technical issues and a lot of fuzz, the show got going in earnest and we were able to run through a ton of material, including new Jam City, a few Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf dubs and plenty of tracks from our Heterotopia comps. Moving forward, the show will likely feature a more experimental, less dancefloor-oriented direction, offering up a space for our more abstract tendencies. Considering that “For Club Use Only” is pretty much a condensed outlet for our club music tastes, KCHUNG will take a seat at the opposite end of the spectrum. We’ll still likely pepper in some Astral Plane Radios on our own here and there when we’re bored. A month in between shows in a long while after all. Enjoy.

astral plane radio 011

Starting next Monday (3/23), Astral Plane Radio will be evolving beyond the friendly confines of this space and taking over a monthly spot at Los Angeles AM station KCHUNG. Broadcasting on 1630 AM, KCHUNG is a bastion of DIY spirit and it’s a pleasure to take over a regular spot with the station. So Angelenos, tune in at 4 PM this upcoming Monday for an hour of dubs, future and former Astral Plane releases and maybe a guest mix or two from friends and family. As a result, Astral Plane Radio 011 will be our last self-produced volume and while KCHUNG allows for 100% autonomy in their programming, it is a little sad to give up our own series. Track list for Astral Plane Radio 011 is above and we hope to be with you next week on KCHUNG.

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We were in an excitable mood while recording this week’s Astral Plane Radio and decided to whip into some high speed techno // ghetto house // Bmore pretty quickly. Shouts to Riley Lake, Hulo, Ase Manual, Chants and Plata for providing key cuts and to the gods Drexciya as always. It’s our insular opinion that this series has gotten better and better over time and we hope you’ve enjoyed the process as much as we have. Astral Plane Radio archives can be found here.

Marshawn Lynch Portrait Shoot

It has been a minute since we’ve returned to the rap music world, both in our writing and in our mix work, partially because our focus has narrowed considerably over the past year and partially we’re far more comfortable working within the structures of vocal-less musics. Astral Plane Radio 009 is far from a rap mix, but it was certainly time to get back into some contemporary works from Lil Silk, Bridge and Rae Sremmurd. And in all honesty, when contrasted with a good heap of club trax, ghetto house and uproarious grime, a party-oriented rap track can do more for a dance than any instrumental joint. Anyways, this Astral Plane Radio goes out to Marshawn Lynch and our Seattle brethren. IDoneTalked.

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The time I spend in the office is generally filled with programming from Rinse, NTS, Berlin Community Radio Radar and other online accessible stations that consistently bring out quality shows, deejays and guests. The truth of that matter is that it’s only possible to pay attention to the show at hand for maybe two thirds of its run time due to meetings, conversations and other necessary distractions. Working in the independent music business allows for a constant stream of listening opportunities and a similarly minded audience to bounce ideas and opinions off of, but the glut often leads to passive listening. It’s inopportune and unavoidable conundrum. But it’s also why long form radio shows are so perfect for the office environment, a two hour ride that allows the listener to hop in, out and off without missing the narrative. Astral Plane Radio hasn’t really fulfilled that function to date and our more theme-oriented mixes are more pedal-to-the-floor affairs, but 008 was recorded with a long form listening experience in mind. As our tastes go, it’s percussive and full of infectious, polyrhythmic material from Auntie Flo, Afrikan Sciences and Lee Gamble. It’s also a bit slower than most of our mixes, eschewing grime and East Coast club forms for more straight forward house and techno. A bit of an adventure for the Astral Plane DJ Team, but one that befits the radio format and might just be optimal for office play. Enjoy.

year end thing

Over the past 12 months, this site has matured into a stronger entity as a whole and has coalesced around several key themes. As the increasingly world of instrumental grime has expanded beyond the genre’s original contours and expectations, as kuduro has expanded beyond the lusophone diaspora, and as the monolithic kicks of jersey club have become ubiquitous in club music the world over, our focus has shrunk and, we hope, has begun to not just mirror the various genres and scenes we cover, but influence, instigate and reflect the general sense of propulsion inherent in the avant-garde fringe. In the next year, we’ll be releasing even more original music under the umbrella of our blog/label and will continue to pump out mixes from the artists we hold close and dear.

We’ll be launching several new features and a new locality-specific mix series over the coming month or two as well as several volumes of Heterotopia remixes that we can’t wait to get in your paws. A TON of exciting producers, both long-held favorites and producers relatively new to the spectrum, contributed remixes and the project will be released in three distinct volumes, each with brand new art work, over the first and second quarter of 2015. Expect news regarding the first volume and a first taste of the project in around two weeks.

Interestingly enough, as our role in covering music has expanded, the scope of our pen has shrunk. It would be nearly impossible to define the range of music we cover, but club is a term that seems to come up again and again and seems to epitomize our attitude if not the actual sound(s) found in our pages. Whether a club is the physical manifestation of the dance music locale or a virtual environment fabricated out of sound and CGI comes down to the creator-listener continuum.

Our seventh and final edition of Astral Plane Radio, a collection of recent club compositions has been included below. Hit the jump to continue reading our 2014 club round up…

Scrolling through the 39 guest mixes we featured this past year, punctuated by the odd pairing of Keyboard Kid and JLSXND7RS, several coherent threads begin to appear. The first is grime, both in the classical and more newfangled sense, a genre/sound that we would return to ad nauseam and an attitude that inflected nearly everything we wrote on/about this year. To map out the various sub-genres, influences and sonic similarities, or more importantly, dissimilarities, of the grime world in 2014 would be nearly impossible, but you could probably assign a mix from our series to every key junction if a map did exist.

Jersey and Bmore club, as well as ballroom, comes next, both in its organic, insular incarnation and in the international sense as labels like Fade to Mind, Her Records, Lit City Trax and NAAFI push and mutate the sound into ever unfamiliar territory. The dialogue is ongoing between the largely European appropriators and the locals of Newark and Baltimore, but with strong leaders like Uniique and Nadus pushing the literal scene and more ambiguous concept of club music forward, it’s far easier to ignore the unfortunate reality of the zoologically inclined masses.

Slowly, and sometimes painfully, folded in with the aforementioned club styles is dembow, kuduro, batida, bachato, baile funk, tarrachinha and other styles that seem to rebound across the Atlantic with reckless abandon, hybridizing and reestablishing themselves in ever-reinforced manifestations. It’s this constant dialogue, played out on Soundcloud, VK, Kasimp3, Datafilehost and innumerable forums, that has blurred the lines between the formerly distinct genres we cover. It’s why certain British agents have objected to the grime label, pointing to the reductive nature of a single, umbrella term for a wide, ever-growing array of music.

Coming from Los Angeles (and formerly Seattle), we reside largely outside of the main foci of the club music world. Of course, labels like Body High, Private Selection and Hesperian Sound Division are pushing club-oriented sounds, but the city’s enthusiasm for the aforementioned club styles is paltry compared to New York and lacks the history and organic verve of cities like Chicago and Baltimore. And as far as garage, grime and its various offshoots, it goes without saying that the United States as a whole plays something of an awkward cousin roll.

So it goes without saying approach a good deal of the music we cover as outsiders, constantly inundating ourselves in the culture and lexicon in order to properly cover and give fare due to the individual representatives of each respective sonic foci. Which is where labels like grime, club and kuduro come in, not intended as a function of verbal reduction, but as organizational techniques to order a large and unruly world for our own mediated consumption. Without the ability to attend Boxed, Thread, Principe Discos parties, etc. on a regular basis, we often rely on second hand information and the word of friends to decipher a wholly indecipherable series of cultural touchstones.

Furthermore, we write for an international audience, many of whom are way more far flung than Los Angeles. Recently, a number of prominent DJs, label people and general club music personalities, have ridiculed the younger crust of club music producers, essentially isolating themselves from the transcontinental dialogue that occurs on the internet everyday. Beyond general questions of snobbishness and elitism, these attitudes create a fundamental block in the ever-open world of club music, closing open doors and blocking passage to aspirational producers from the world over.

It’s our goal to function as a door opener and a platform for counter-hegemonic club music producers, labels, proponents and spaces. We’ve realized that its far easier to act in a negative fashion, even on the part of figureheads, but the huge array of talented musicians out there make promoting the club-verse at large a positive pursuit.


It’s been quite a year from house music, both commercially and artistically, and despite the fact that the genre’s smoother, more genteel sensibilities are a bit out of our wheelhouse, we certainly dabble in the likes of Mood Hut, Lobster Theremin, Public Possession, Wild Oats and Huntleys+Palmers. From young guns in Detroit to revivalists in Amsterdam to Vancouver’s ever-growing cadre of vibe specialists, it’s been a fun year to watch the genre grow, especially outside of the confusing world of commercial EDM. The final edition of our home-compiled Astral Plane Radio series comes in at a smoother and slower pace than most of our mixes and while it;s a bit outside of our comfort zone, the Astral Plane DJ team did a more than solid job of freaking the sounds of Auntie Flo, Max Graef, Round, Pender Street Steppers and more into a glorious mid-afternoon extravaganza. Looking back on the five previous Astral Plane Radio’s, this edition might just have been the most fun to record and we hope you enjoy it equally.